Symbolism In Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

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Santiago is an old fisherman who goes out on a long, epic journey. He faces many challenges, both mentally and physically. On his journey he talks about many things, including the sea turtles; which he admires very much. At the beginning of his journey, Santiago is optimistic and has good mental and physical health. At the end of his journey, however he is beaten down both mentally and physically. In Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea, the author uses turtles as a symbol for Santiago and his tragedy. At the beginning of the novel, Santiago talks about turtles as beautiful creatures which highlights his emotional health and positive connection to nature at the start of his journey. As Santiago rows his boat far out of the harbor he spots a green turtle, “He loved green turtles and their hawk-bills with their elegance and speed” (Hemingway 36). Santiago’s description of the turtles’ elegance and speed is symbolic of his optimism and strength. Santiago is strong and ready to keep fishing until he catches something even though he 's gone 84 days without catching anything. At the beginning of this journey, Santiago is sable; he has no physical ailments. He also has nothing but optimism and will to keep trying in his mind. Furthermore, at the beginning of his journey, Santiago considers nature to be a friend of his. The turtles, to him, are beautiful, elegant creatures, they are a part of the sea and therefore brothers to him. To Santiago the sea is a beautiful
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